CA_Steve & bonestonne: I tend to keep my builds for a very long time so when I'm choosing components I try to pick ones that I think will last through a few generations of software/OS. I also tend to deal with giant files on a regular basis. Hence the desire for 4 SATA6s and a good graphics card (and my dilemma of whether to change to a mobo that includes Thunderbolt). Having said that, I'm starting to see your point that the Quadro 4000 is an overkill. The Puget Systems article
was very insightful!
I dont think there are 1155 mobos with more than 2 sata III (intel based), still there is no way that mechanical drives at least the ones available on the market, can sataurate a sata II. But if this is a must for you and thinking that you might dump the quadro and that you might benefit from a more capable CPU, maybe look into Sandy Bridge E CPUs like Intel Core i7 3930K, a lot of the LGA2011 mobos come with a lot of sata connectors (some have 10), and a lot have more than 2 sata II (but in most cases are not intel but 3rd party). I still think its best for the money to go with ivy bridge, or if you can wait for haswell should arrive in 3 months, but the gains are not more than 10%.
CA_Steve: so you think a 550W PSU is unnecessary? how long would you go?
Abula: I like this KingWin Lazer Platinum Series 550W you suggested. Never heard of the company before... I saw good reviews, though. Would anyone recommend AGAINST it?
I would go with 500W mostly out of having the flexablity for the futre, also semi passive PSU tend to be quiet if you dont overload them, in a lot of cases, passive until 20% load... which makes them virtually silent, so a 550W shoudl give you around 110W of margin of bieng passive, and if dont overload them, most of them are very quiet until 50%, so thats 275W that your sistem should be under even under heavy load (depending on the gpu though).
Kingwin/sunflower make very good PSUs, not as common as Corsar, Seasonic, Antec, but their PSU are top notch, even very heavy PSU oriented sites have nothing but great reviews of them, here some for you to read more,SPCR Kingwin Lazer Platinum 550W Power Supply
The Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-550 power supply is unique in the marketplace today: It is not only the most energy efficient computer power supply, but also among the very quietest in any practical application. [H]ardOCP Kingwin LZP-550 550W Power Supply Review
The Kingwin LZP-550 had absolutely excellent voltage regulation, excellent DC Output Quality, had good Transient Load Test results, was extremely quiet, and had excellent build quality coupled with much improved support. So, what is this kind of amazing performance going to set you back? About $170 (there is a 10% promotional discount running through 3/10/11) exclusively at Newegg currently. Given the overall results though, this is one of those times where value be damned, this is [H]ardOCP and the Kingwin LZP-550 is a [H]ard Power Supply! It deserves a platinum award....if we had oneJonnyGuru Reviews - Kingwin Lazer Platinum 550W
It's always exciting when something new and awesome crosses my path, and Kingwin's entry into the new 80 Plus Platinum category certainly qualifies under both terms. While the MSRP is currently much too high to compete in the marketplace, the Lazer Platinum 550 watt unit is by no means a poor value. Not too many units out there can match the performance I saw here today, let alone exceed it. There's lots of good here, and very little bad. Nice work, Kingwin.
Most of the complains goes toward being too expensive, since it was released at a $170 MSRP, but now you can find it at $130 (as my previous link), its a good pick.
I also see good reviews of the HR-02. Given the price though, do you still think it's a better option than a closed-loop water cooling?
Most of the time an air cooler with low rpm fan will be much quieter than water cooling setup, specially since value setups can have noisy pumps. The HR02 is a great air cooler, really among the top bang for the buck, check the following reviews,SPCR Thermalright HR-02 Macho Quiet/Fanless Cooler
Fortunately these cutbacks along with the decision to omit the second fan, help keep the cost of the Macho down. With a street price of about US$55, the HR-02 is not only an excellent buy, but a worthy heir to the HR-01/Plus.
Btw was tested with Fractal Design Define R3, worth the read specially since you are considering the R4 (i still favor the solo II out of the mounting of the hdd on suspension).[H]ardOCP Thermalright HR-02 Macho CPU Air Cooler Review
Now look at the HR-02 Macho. WOW! It is a world of difference between the two. The Thermalright HR-02 Macho is easily affordable and has a great value thanks to its solid performance. Make no mistake at all, the other heat sink manufacturers have been put on notice. Thermalright is competing on price here and it has come out of the corner swinging. At $40.00 USD, I have a hard time believing the Macho delivers all that it does, but it does. If you are looking for a new cooler for your box and don’t want to break the bank, the Thermalright HR-02 Macho is exactly what you’re looking for.
For replacement fans, I was thinking about using either the Nexus 120mm Real Silent or the SilnX Effizio 120s.
As CaSteve suggested, i would test the fans that came with the case and work from there, there are lots of options if you feel they dont perform as you like, two fans to consider in case you decide to swtich them, Noctua NF-F12 PWM
for a higher budget, Scythe Slip Stream 120mm x 25mm PWM Mid Speed Fan - (SY1225SL12LM-P)
for a more value oriented budget. Or the nexus basic and just undervolt them to your personal preference, but i prefer PWM fans being controlled by mobo depending on the conditions of the PC.